European Think Tank School

European Think Tank School: Liberalism in the 21st Century

Representatives of network has taken part in European Think Tank School organized by European Liberal Forum (ELF) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

To put the European Union on the right track of bottom-up integration is a project for two or three decades, not a couple of years, warned Hermann Otto Solms, former Vice President of the German Bundestag, in Prague on the occasion of the opening the 2nd European Liberal Forum (ELF) European Think Tank School. The key-note speech of H.O. Solms launched a weekend capacity- building workshop for liberal think- tanks in Europe. The event was organized by European Liberal Forum with the cooperation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

The workshop brought together representatives from liberal think-tanks across the whole Europe. The diversity of liberal approaches was the first topic to discuss. While in political arena the heterogeneity of liberal family can pose a challenge, in the world of ideas the diversity is rather a blessing. As the Prague event showed, discussion between classical and social liberals can prove very fruitful.

The main aim, however, was not to remain in the sphere of liberal ideas, but to deal with practical aspects of the every-day work in liberal think tanks. As was pointed out by Hugo Brady, senior analyst with the Centre for European Reform, there are only few more challenging jobs than being a successful think tanker: it requires combining the skills of good researcher, journalists and politicians. This was confirmed by Zilvinas Silenas, from the Lithuanian Free Market Institute, who encouraged everybody to become a real intellectual entrepreneur. Think- tankers must be proactive and have a clear communication strategy if they want to play role in the information overfilled world.

How to use various tool for fundraising in the digital age was another topic. The interactive lecture was led by experienced fundraiser Nick Allen, who also shared the latest trends in crowdsourcing. Email marketing, social media and viral videos were among the other programme points covered during the weekend event which was moderated by Wulf Pabst.